Plato

The Republic

On Justice in the Individual and the State

Introduction: Socrates recounts a trip to Piraeus for a religious festival, he is detained by Polemarchus and persuaded to remain for the evening festivities. In the mean time they go to Polemarchus' house and speak with Cephalus, Polemarchus' father, about the benefits of old age.

  1. Summary of the Republic:
    1. Book I - What is Justice?

    2. Book II - The Origin of the State

    3. Book III - The Education of the Guardians and the Noble Lie

    4. Book IV - The definition of Justice in the city and the soul

    5. Book V - The nature and equality of the Guardians

    6. Book VI - What the Guardians know and what is knowable

    7. Book VII - The allegory of the cave and the education of the Guardians

    8. Book VIII - The four types of government (Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Dictatorship)

    9. Book IX - The benefits of a just life

    10. Book X - The immortality of the soul and the Myth of Er

  2. Book VI: The Rulers and What they Know
    1. Who are the rulers?

      1. The Three Castes:

        1. Artisans
        2. Warriors
        3. Philosophers

      2. The Nature of the Philosophers (503):

        1. Persevere in pain
        2. Resist the temptation of pleasure

      3. Philosophers and the Love of the Good (507b):

        1. Particulars (objects) - the Good is pleasure
        2. Universals (Ideas) - the Good is knowledge

    2. The Divided Line (Plato's Ontology and Epistemology) - 509e

      1. Three levels of Being:

        1. Being (universals)
        2. Non-Being (contradictions/nothing)
        3. Semi-Being (particulars)

      2. The World of Things:

        1. Images (conjecture - eikasia)
        2. Objects (faith - pistis)

      3. The World of Ideas:

        1. Mathematical entities (thought - dianoia)
        2. Ideas/Forms (intelligence - noesis)

  3. Book VII: Allegory of the Cave
    1. The Cave - The Material World

      1. Shadows on the wall - theater, art, imaginary things

      2. Shadow Puppets - Material Objects

    2. Outside the Cave - The Ideal World:

      1. Objects and their shadows - universals

      2. The Sun - Goodness/Being

    3. The Republic and its Laws:

      1. Slaves = Artisans

      2. Puppeteers = Warriors

      3. Liberated Slave = Philosophers

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